This story of a young woman's confrontation with death and her past is a poetic study of human relations.
Public Domain (P)2011 Random House Audio
Like most people I don't like abridged versions of books and avoid them. So I WISH that Eudora Welty had recorded the unabridged version of this book, but to the best of my knowledge she didn't.
That being said, the beauty of the writing and the wonderful narration by the author outweigh any frustration resulting from abridgment. I have owned this recording for 10 - 15 years (first in audio cassettes), and returning to it is always a pleasure. I hear something new each time I listen.
I highly recommend this recording.
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
A story of an adult daughter's (Laurel) struggle with the death of her father, after already having lost her husband and her mother. She recalls her mom and dad reading parts of books to each other:
“She was sent to sleep under a velvety cloak of words, richly patterned and stitched with gold, straight out of a fairy tale, while they went reading on into her dreams.”
It is a story of the people and things we recall upon the death of a parent, the loss of that part of your life, the rooms, the stories, and the attempt to hold onto what others see as the smaller things. It is also about contemplating the defects of the parents through others you see after the loss.
We have all known folks like the busy-body neighbors and friends here. Perhaps we have all known despicable human beings like the step-mother (a younger self-centered and completely negative nelly married late in life by Laurel's widowed father). She is a dismal, awful spirit that you cannot help but wonder what the father could have seen in her to marry. This part of the novel made my stomach churn and my hair stand on end.
A poetic, semi-autobiographical look at death and life, as peculiarly experienced in the South, sure to strike a chord with anyone who has lost a parent.
I loved the description of the sewing woman, Miss Berna Longmeyer. Her description tells a deep story about that exact time in the south.
It is always wonderful to hear a story in the author's voice, but this one was exceptional. Her southern soul was on display
My first choice would be Fay, because she would be entertaining, but I wouldn't want to actually spend any time with her. I'd prefer to spend time dining with Juge McKelva
Worthy of praise.
Everything after the 117 or after the funeral.
No, she does a wonderful job reading her own material.
Fay, she was viciously ignorant.
Welty reads all but a few sentences in this audiobook herself. Don't be scared off by the
While I am sure there could be more entertaining readers, you just can't beat hearing an author's words read by the author herself. I found it wonderfully fascinating, and Mrs. Welty's deep southern drawl surely helps one imagine this novel.
This was my first Welty book. I've wanted to get to know her my entire life, and I was not disappointed. Her prose was rich with character description and development. And I loved that she was reading it to me. How precious is that? She used to read to the children at the public library, one of them was a friend of mine. How precious is that?
I'm not sure if this is for everybody but I appreciated it. I'm making my way through the Pulitzer's for fiction and this one is one of the better ones.
The Southern colloquialisms border on poetry. This is one of those stories that deserves to be listened to multiple times. One of the few lyrical books that I've read that doesn't let the prose get away from the story.
Only a southerner could have read this and I'm thankful that the author did. I was unsure when I started listening but by the end I concluded that she was the only one that could have read the story. It reminded me of an old Grandma rocking in her chair and telling a family history.
To write and see if I'm able capture the same local flavor that I grew up with.
I recommend this for a long road trip. It comes in at only four hours.
What a pleasure and privilege to hear the voice of Eudora Welty read her own work! The slow cadence of her voice matches the story of the daughter and the Greek chorus of women in the small town in "Miss-ippi" who bring the past to life. I grew up in Alabama and Tennessee, so this rings true for me and, I would hope for all who've left home. It is the voice of my grandmother.
The Optimist's Daughter is the work that Ms. Welty won the Pulitzer Prize in Literature. This is a nice introduction to Ms. Welty's writings as well as listening to it in the author's own voice. She does a remarkable job.
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